Sunday, November 29, 2009

Compostable Dishes Made From Leaves

Tableware Constructed From The Fallen Leaves of Trees

I continue to be impressed by the genius and persistence of new young entrepreneurs who take the time to think differently about the world around them and seek to find ways to not only improve the world they live in but create a new paths for humanity to follow while also proving that business can be created and thrive while doing so.

Verterra is a new company producing and selling recycleable / compostable dishes that are stylish, functional and completely environmentally friendly. What started as a dream just a few years ago has now turned into a real company that produces about a million pieces of flatware per month who's products are found in diverse venues such as Whole Foods Markets, football stadium box seats and even the upcoming Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver, B.C. Verterra has received recognition as the Best New Green / Environmentally Friendly Product. The biggest problem Michael Dwork, the company founder, has encountered is that they look so stylish that people might find them to attractive to throw away. He does state that repeat orders stand at ninety percent so that obstacle must be working itself out.

The Verterra products are made exclusively from fallen leaves of trees and water with no additives. How cool? They are designed to be fully compostable & won't contaminate the environment so people can toss them away with food waste and landfills won't need to be littered with polystyrene foam products that are loaded with hazardous chemicals and take eons to breakdown.
Check them out here: Verterra

Read more about the Verterra story here: Fallen Leaves Birth Eco-Friendly Dinnerware Company

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Advanced Workout Routine of Total Body Exercises

A total body workout routine using only free body weight exercises. Time to work off that Thanksgiving feast.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guys, Drink To Your Heart's Content

Drinking alcohol cuts the risk of heart disease in men. A major study involving over fifteen thousand men showed that consuming alcohol every day reduced the risk of heart disease by more than a third. What was even more interesting was that large amounts of alcohol produced an even greater benefit. For those drinking small amounts - less than a shot of vodka a day for instance - the risk was reduced by 35%. And for those who drank anything from three shots to more than 11 shots each day, the risk worked out an average of 50% less. The conundrum is that consuming large amounts of alcohol can contribute to other health related problems so doctors are quick to point out that people should not be encouraged to drink more as a result of this research. The best rule of thumb is moderation. The body has always worked to achieve a state of balance so keep that in mind and figure a drink or two a day probably is all you need.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Human Body Fat Stolen and Sold For Cosmetics

Peruvian Police Arrest Traffickers of Human Fat For Cosmetics

How far will you go in pursuit of your health and vanity? This sounds like a joke because it is almost unbelievable but I am not making this up. This is another bizarre view of what people will do in deranged pursuits of vanity and monetary gain? It is estimated that the stolen body fat was garnering $15,000 per liter on the black market and was sold to European cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies (this is still yet to be proven). Human body fat has been used in the cosmetics procedure industry but it is usually a persons own body fat which is used to facilitate cosmetic procedures.

The Peruvian police arrested four people and are searching for two more who were allegedly part of an underground ring of individuals participating in the murder of unsuspecting people in remote areas of Peru. The slain individuals then had their body fat extracted, packaged up and sold on the black market.

Makes you wonder a little bit about what is in things we use and consume.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Physical Activity Builds Better Brains

Elderly people who are physically active may have healthier blood vessels in their brains than do elderly people who aren’t active.

Researchers have found that physically active older adults, those classified as between 60 to 80 years old, have more blood vessels and less twisting of the vessels than those who were not physically active. The brains of those who were active resembled the brains of younger adults. The level of physical activity by the study participants was equal to thirty minutes a day of aerobic activity such as walking at least 5-6 days per week. The moral of the story. Get active to not only build your body but also to build your brain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Medium Chain Triglycerides(MCT's) The Healthy Weight Loss Nutrient

Studies show that Medium Chain Triglycerides are an effective agent against obesity and can help facilitate weight loss improving your overall health and fitness. As a general rule regarding saturated fat, if a product has 10 grams of fat and 5-8 of those are saturated it is probably a good idea to skip that food item. If 1 or 2 grams are saturated this is a better choice. The one exception to this rule would be organic, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil that has a high content of saturated fat but also is a rich source of MCT’s or medium chain triglycerides that are very good and efficient sources of fuel for energy and are not easily stored by the body as fat.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a special class of fatty acids that resemble carbohydrates more than fat. As a result, they are more easily absorbed, digested, and utilized as energy. Normal fats and oils contain long-chain fatty acids (LCTs)that are harder to break down by the body and once they are in the bloodstream they are absorbed by fat cells and stored as body fat. In contrast, the medium-chain triglycerides(MCT's)are more water-soluble and are able to enter the bloodstream quicker because of their shorter lengths. Once in the bloodstream, they are transported directly into the liver. Thus, MCT's are an immediately available source of energy and only a tiny percent is converted into body fat. MCT's also facilitate weight loss by stimulating thermogenesis which is the process in which the body generates energy, or heat, by increasing its normal metabolic and fat-burning rate.

MCT’s have been used widely to aid in weight management as the fatty acids found in MCT’s - Caproic (C6), Caprylic (C8), Capric (C10) and Lauric acid (C12) have been shown to improve excess calorie burning. Coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid. This MCT is which is also found in mother’s milk, helps regulate metabolism and is being studied for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. I personally know individuals who have lost weight by incorporating MCT's into their diet so regular consumption may aid you in weight loss but you must manage your consumption because there are plenty of calories in coconut oil as well. A good rule would be to use no more than 1-2 tbsp per day. A few ways to use it would be to spread it on whole grain toast or sandwiches, mix in with cooked dishes, spread on vegetables instead of butter.

The bad reputation coconut oil has gotten in the past is the result of the bastardized version of coconut oil which is usually partially or fully hydrogenated coconut oil that is highly refined and detrimental to your well being. The virgin, unrefined, and cold processed variety is the one you want. A final note on coconut oil is that it is good for cooking with because of its ability to withstand higher heat without becoming carcinogenic.

Reference:
National Institute of Health: Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity.
Medium Chain Triglycerides

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Your Ipod Can Help You Lose Weight

New Study Shows How Podcasts Help To Lose Weight

A new study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that help in losing weight may be as close as the earbuds on your MP3 player. What they found was that a person using an MP3 player and earphones creates a more personal and intimate environment for listening to enhanced podcasts that engaged the listener while aiding them with their behavior modification. The [MP3 player] technology has some advantages over the Internet,” Turner-McGrievy said. “It feels more personal when someone is using earphones, as if someone is speaking directly to you. We want to take advantage of that intimacy and tailor messages that will bring success to people looking for ways to reach a healthy weight. The study participants listening to the enhanced podcasts lost an average of 6.4 pounds in twelve weeks.

Here is a sample of the enhanced podcast. Listen To weight loss podcast sample here




Reference: UNC study: Lose Weight While Listening To Your MP3 Player

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What You Need To Know About Multivitamins

How Multivitamins Can Help Improve Health

In a 24 yr nutritional study by the University of Southern California on 11, 384 men and women it was found that daily consumption of a vitamin and mineral supplement cut death rates in half while also reducing the cancer death rate and heart disease by tenfold.

What Multivitamins Do For You:
They act as a type of health "insurance" to support overall nutrition and may help prevent chronic illness by providing your body with the basic nutrients and micronutrients that too often are missing in the average persons diet.

Why You Need Multivitamins:
Most people don't get all the basic vitamins & micronutrients from the foods they eat during their meals. This is especially true if you don't consume enough fresh vegetables & fruits as well as other whole foods and eat a lot of processed carbohydrates and sugar.

What Type Of Multivitamin To Look For:
You should use a naturally derived multivitamin supplement that is developed using vegetables, fruits, plants and herbs and not one that is synthetically derived. This is because naturally derived vitamin supplements contain ingredients that have a different polarity that the body recognizes and responds to where synthetic vitamins do not. Most synthetic vitamins also use coarse binders and fillers that bind together the ingredients so harshly that often the pills pass through the body without being fully dissolved or utilized by the body. Lastly, in my humble opinion, look for a supplement providing levels equal to 100 to 200 percent of the RDA of vitamins. Some contain higher levels that may or may not be necessary.

New England Journal of Medicine

Sunday, November 1, 2009

World's Safest Snow Shovel

Clears Away Snow 3 Times Faster Than Shoveling
with Half the Effort and Less Risk of Injury

Protect your health, improve your fitness and live more sustainably while saving the environment.
The Sno Wovel™, manufactured and distributed by Structured Solutions II, LLC, is a novel invention solving an age old problem that requires no fuel, emits no noxious fumes or deafening noise to harm the environment or the user and is 100% manufactured here in the United States. The Sno Wovel™ was voted the "Best Invention of 2006" by Time Magazine.

The motivation behind the Sno Wovel™ was the desire to solve the problem of snow shovels and snow removal in a fast, safe, environmentally clean, quiet, maintenance-free way while also being able to conveniently store it away up on the wall saving room and not ruining your back.

It is estimated that there are 72,000 annual emergency room visits associated with snow removal injuries. With gas prices up and baby boomers aging, the Sno Wovel™ helps the environment and makes using snow shovels easier, while reducing body stress, in particular your lower back. It works like a child’s seesaw, the shovel and wheel combination acts as a fulcrum and lever, letting the operator use his entire body strength to move and lift the snow. The uniqueness of the product prompted the University of Massachusetts, a top ergonomics research center, to investigate just exactly how the product works and why it has such positive effects on the human body. The study, confirmed that the Wovel reduces lower back stress to something akin to “simply walking” and dramatically reduces overall physical exertion by as much as 75-80% and more vs snow shovels. So if your looking for a new tool to help you out this winter, check it out. For those of you who don't have to worry about snow, carry on, never mind this post.

For video presentation of this cool product visit The Sno Wovel

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Healthy Vegetarian Recipe

Vegetarian Recipe Of The Day

Basmati Rice, Chickpeas & Toasted Almonds

This is a great vegetarian recipe with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats using my favorite type of rice, Basmati Rice (an aromatic rice grown primarily in India), toasted almonds and chickpeas which are a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. If you can’t find Basmati rice, try substituting Texmati, Jasmine, or any long-grain rice.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (19 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes.

2 Add the bell pepper and rice, stirring to coat. Stir in the water, lemon zest, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

3 Stir in the chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and toasted almonds at serving time.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrition Information, per serving:
calories 242 • total fat 5g (0.6g saturated) • cholesterol 0mg
• dietary fiber 5g • carbohydrate 42g • protein 8g • sodium 270mg • good source of: fiber, folate, thiamin, vitamin C

Source: U.C. Berkeley Wellness Newsletter

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Five Tips To Boost Your Energy

Drink more water. In many cases, fatigue can be the result of dehydration. So first start by drinking some water. A great way to start your day is to drink a glass of water with a little lemon juice as soon as you wake up in the morning.

Do some low intensity exercise. Taking a walk in the morning or at lunchtime will get your body and mind moving and some research suggests it can boost your energy by 65%.

Stretch and Breathe. Simply doing a few stretches to the major muscles and engaging in rhythmic systematic breathing for a few minutes can rejuvenate your body and mind while lifting your energy.

Get some sunshine. The sun balances and boosts your circadian rhythms so try to get up to 30 min. of it a day. Open your blinds and go outside for a walk.

Eat a high protein snack. A handful of almonds, glass of soy milk, a few bites of chicken salad are just a few ways to get a protein boost that can help boost your brain and body more than a sugary snack that will leave you dragging.

Five More Tips To Boost Energy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Expand Your Mind and Change Your World In 30 Minutes

You will find the Real News Network an eye opening and refreshing blend of information of substance that your psyche craves amidst the plethora of homogenized garbage assaulting your senses. This thirty nine minute presentation is circa Nov 2008 but substantive in nature. If your a thinking man or woman using more than a fragment of your brain, you will enjoy the discourse, expand your mind and just might be motivated into action to change the world you live in.



Aside from the presentation of Paul Jay, The Real News Network has plenty of interesting aspects of information that you will find much more interesting and absorbing than garbage news and TV that you may have become accustomed to.

Enjoy and hope it expands your mind. Find out more about The Real News Network.

The Real News Network Business Plan

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can You Trust Food Labels?

The GAO Cites FDA Ineffectiveness and Poor Oversight of Food Labeling

You cannot always trust what you see on a food label on a packaged processed food when it comes to the nutrition content. One government agency is starting to get things moving though. The GAO – Government Accountability Office released a report citing the FDA’s ineffective and poor oversight of food labeling for domestic and international products. According to the report the FDA has failed in its duties and has not conducted routine random sampling to test the accuracy of Nutrition Facts labels since 1990 and the agency only conducted very limited non-random nutrition samples of products whose labels were suspected of being labeled inaccurate. "These findings by the GAO seem to point to another example of how FDA mismanagement is failing consumers. As Congress moves toward reforming FDA's food safety responsibilities, this is another area that warrants close examination and potentially a major overhaul.” Says, Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of the FDA budget. The Center for Science in The Public Interest (CSPI) regularly files formal complaints with the FDA urging it to stop misleading labeling claims, but the labeling violations have often continued unabated. Recent deceptive claims include:

* Capri Sun beverages were labeled as “All Natural” even though they were made with high-fructose corn syrup (when contacted by CSPI, the company said it was modifying the label). The FDA has failed to formally define the term.

* Gerber Graduates for Toddlers Fruit Juice Snacks depicted fruits on the label and suggested that the product is made from fruit. But the product’s predominant ingredients are corn syrup and sugar. CSPI, but not the FDA, is challenging the claim in federal court.

* Kraft’s Crystal Light Immunity Berry Pomegranate drink falsely claimed that its vitamins A, C, and E will “help maintain a healthy immune system.” The FDA said it would consider placing the issue on its work plan for next year.

* Mars Cocoa Via Brand Heart Healthy Snacks claimed that it “Promotes a healthy heart”, and "reduces" bad cholesterol.” The chocolate candy contains significant amounts of saturated fat, which can raise bad cholesterol. The company has ignored an FDA warning to halt the claim, and the agency has failed to follow-up its demands in court.

* Nestle Crunch Ice Cream Bars have claimed “0g Trans Fat,” but contain 11 grams of saturated fat, which also raises cholesterol levels. The FDA failed to act on a CSPI complaint over the issue.

* Thomas’ Hearty Grains Double Fiber Honey Wheat Muffins label has boasted that the product is “made with whole grain,” but the predominant ingredient is white flour. The FDA issued a weak policy pronouncement on the issue, but has taken no enforcement action.

Another report released this month states that the FDA and USDA are not "kept in the loop" regarding imported foods further exacerbating an already dysfunctional food supply system that is increasingly reliant on food imports to sustain our food supply economy. So, the bottom line here is to be wary but eat smart.

Ref.
GAO Report On Food Labeling
CSPI Report on Accuracy and Truthfullness In Food Labeling

Friday, October 16, 2009

Commando Pull Ups For A Strong Upper Body

Improve Your Fitness with the Commando Pull-ups Exercise.

How Many Can You Do?

I have been doing pull-ups for years but don't remember ever trying this version. Since I tried this out a few months ago, I now do them intermittently in addition to my other upper body exercises. The most I was able to do was 23. Take into consideration that I have been working out for 27 years so I have plenty of practice. See if you can do the commando pull-ups and how many you can get. Leave me a comment and let me know. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Action Day For A Brighter Planet Against Global Climate Change

Change The World Wednesday's

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. Blog Action Day 2009 will be the largest-ever social change event on the web and this year the focus is on global Climate Change. My post is targeted at building a
Brighter Planet through the 350 Challenge.


Blog Action Day

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge is inspired by Bill McKibben’s awareness campaign about the importance of the number 350, the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that we must aim for if we want to keep the planet relatively safe.

Brighter Planet makes it easier for anyone to get involved in the fight against climate change. On Brighter Planet you’ll measure your carbon footprint, discover simple ways to reduce it, track your progress, and share your experiences. They help people manage and mitigate their environmental footprint through several avenues including free social web applications, web-based campaigns, products, and climate solutions.

Carbon offsets play a crucial role in building a sustainable society. Many renewable energy projects are well suited to produce energy and meet stringent standards, but lack sufficient financing. Carbon offsets fill that void by investing in these projects. To learn more about Bright Planet or climate change click on the link or the 350 Challenge badge below.

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Global Warming Facts and Figures

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Antibiotic Use In Farming Contributes To Food Borne Illness

Outbreaks of food borne illness are on the rise and most associated with the increase in contamination by bacteria making it's way into the food supply in greater occurrence and severity. This is a direct result of the dysfunctional food system in need of a major overhaul.

Livestock and poultry farmers use antibiotics to facilitate growth as well as to prevent and fight infections in the animals. An added side effect from the administration of synthetic hormones is that the resulting increase in infections and disease results in livestock farmers using increased levels of antibiotics to try to overcome the infections. This leaves a greater residue in the animal which subsequently can make its way down the food chain to you. These practices also don't kill all the bacteria thus exacerbating the development of drug resistant bacteria. This subsequently undermines the effectiveness of drugs used to combat infections in humans whereby putting people at higher risk of illness and death. To make things worse, many factory farms administer antibiotics as a function of their protocol using them on livestock even though they don’t have an infection.

Here are the simple facts:

1.) There is widespread use of human-use antibiotics in livestock production.
2.) Much of that use is routine and prolonged “subtherapeutic” dosing of animals with antibiotics such as penicillin and tetracycline to speed animal growth.
3.) That use causes food borne bacteria and other bacteria to become resistant to the same drugs used to treat bacterial infections in humans.

This situation has become so serious that even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged the FDA not to approve fluoroquinolones for treating flocks of poultry, but the FDA caved in to drug-industry pressure. As a result the predicted problem has occurred: Campylobacter, which causes food poisoning, is becoming resistant to fluoroquinolones. That will make it harder to treat those illnesses. Salmonella and E-coli contaminations are on the rise while treatment of these infections becomes more difficult. In fact the CDC- Center for Disease Control states that these infections caused problems in treating illnesses with increased rates of illness and death.

Things can be changed. Richard Young, a policy adviser for the Soil Association stated “We estimate that a move to less intensive, more health-oriented livestock farming, could reduce farm antibiotic use by up to 75%. This would help to safeguard the future effectiveness of critically important drugs, and over the coming years, save countless human lives". The University of Vermont has shown that natural pasture raising of dairy cows actually can reduce farm expenses increase revenues and increase production value of dairy cows. These are a few practices that would eliminate much of the need for antibiotic as well as hormone treatment practices making the food supply and environment much safer. How can you go wrong employing methodology that is safer, more financial lucrative, heals the environment, improves health of people and reduces risk of disease?

If you care to get involved, voice your concerns to the FDA commissioner: mailto:CVMHomeP@cvm.fda.gov Main Tel: (301) 827-2410

Ref:
Center For Disease Control
Drug Resistant Staph Germ's Toll Higher Than Thought
Center For Science In The Public Interest
Fluoroquinolone Use in Food Animals
Soil Association

Image: Fotosearch

Friday, October 9, 2009

Microwaving Food Can Make You Sick

Study Shows Microwaving Leftovers Doesn't Kill Salmonella

We know food safety is a concern for many families and that there are risks associated with eating animal protein. It is also true that people have succumbed to food borne illness such as E-coli or Salmonella. However, we often think that this is due to foods not being prepared properly. You should also consider the issue of how you are reheating foods for yourself and family.

Microwaving food may not provide protection from food borne illnesses like Salmonella or deadly E-coli. The Journal of Epidemiology reports that reheating food in a microwave can be dangerous. They studied a salmonella outbreak and discovered that 100% of the individuals reheating meat leftovers from a picnic became ill while none of the individuals who reheated the meat using a regular skillet or oven became sick. Just some food for thought on this Friday morning. Have a great weekend.

Reference:
American Journal of Epidemiology

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eco Running and Eco Walking. Healthy Environmentally Friendly Way To Exercise

Change The World Wednesday's

Eco running is simply an act of being conscientious to clean up the environment while your getting some exercise. This can also be done when you go for a walk as well or while out playing with your kids. EcoRunning is the brainchild of Samuel Huber an avid runner and environmental champion. Check out more details about Sam at his site Eco-Runner.

It's practice is simple. The next time you go for a walk or run to get some exercise carry a bag with you and pick up garbage you see along the way. Either dispose of it in the nearest garbage can or when you get home recycle the appropriate junk and discard the rest in the trash. Not only is this good for your health it is good for the health of the environment. This is also a great way to get your kids involved in a healthy environmentally friendly activity to help raise their awareness of environmental concerns. For more information on how to get your kids involved as well as your local schools, please visit
Eco Friendly Kids Program.

Download EcoRunner Kids Fitness Program
More about Change The World Wednesday's

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ecovative Design Makes Natural Products For A Healthy Sustainable Earth

All natural biodegradable and compostable packaging and insulation for a more sustainable planet.

Ecovative Design makes product packaging that is 100% compostable and biodegradable. It’s made from seed husks and mushroom roots. Their business philosophy embraces a cradle to cradle mindset when developing their products. This focus ensures that their packaging is environmentally friendly through every step of the process and life cycle of the packaging.

The EcoCradle™ sustainable product packaging and insulation products are 100 percent natural using local regionally available agricultural products. For instance, a facility in Texas may use cotton seed hulls whereas a facility in Virginia may use soybean hulls or a facility in China may use rice husks. The products are also fully compostable so they can be used in your garden to add nutrients to the soil while reducing landfill waste.

The production process uses about ten times less energy than production of synthetic materials such as Styrofoam and incorporates no petrochemical in the process unlike the production of Styrofoam. In addition, the pilot plant used in developing the first EcoCradle™ products runs on hydroelectric power which emits no green house gases. Their Greensulate™ sustainable rigid board insulation reduces the amount of energy used to build a home, reduces the amount of CO2 emissions by homes and offers a safer non-toxic affordable insulation alternative. To read more details about this exciting new company and their products please visit EcoFriendly Packaging and Insulation

Reference:
Ecovative Design LLC
PopTech

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mercury Poisoning is a Serious Health Issue

Mercury poisoning is increasing in the human population but the good news is that if caught early and you employ elimination strategies, then many of the side effects are often reversible.

Mercury, a common POP (persistent organic pollutant), is commonly found in the environment as a result of burning fossil fuels and in high concentrations can cause serious harm to your health. It is transformed by bacteria in the environment into methylmercury which is extremely toxic. These toxins most often enter the food chain through water and water runoff, dumping by factories, and inefficient disposal. From there they enter into food sources such as plants, fish, shellfish and animals which are then consumed by unsuspecting human consumers. Methylmercury is also an agent that undergoes biomagnification. This means that as the it travels along the food chain it increases in concentration. The higher up the food chain the greater the concentration as is the case with tuna fish. Serious side effects of mercury toxicity include birth defects, blindness, deafness, and mental deficiency. Symptoms of mercury poisoning

* Impairment of the peripheral vision
* Disturbances in sensations ("pins and needles" feelings, numbness) usually in the hands feet and sometimes around the mouth
* Lack of coordination of movements, such as writing
* Impairment of speech, hearing, walking;
* Muscle weakness
* Skin rashes
* Mood swing
* Memory loss
* Mental disturbance
* Swollen lymph nodes
* Fatigue
* Loss of balance
* Inability to concentrate
* Diminished intelligence
* Impaired social behavior

Two important suggestions would be to use a water filter to purify your drinking and cooking water. Secondly, to prevent mercury poisoning in children do not feed fresh or canned Albacore or White tuna fish to your children more than once a month if they are under 6 yrs old and no more than twice a month if they are between 6 and 12 years old. This is due to the high mercury content and its effects on the brain sometimes resulting in diminished mental ability, coordination and problem solving skills. Chunk light tuna is better but still should be limited to no more than three times per month. This applies to women of childbearing age as well since mercury harms unborn fetuses. It is unfortunate that a mother also exposes her newborn if she has mercury in her system since it travels into the breast and breast milk. As a matter of fact, the highest levels of these contaminants are found in breast milk. That being said, mother’s milk is still the best food for babies. The massive nutrient value in balanced amounts is best at helping to develop a strong immune system for babies. So, don’t quit breast feeding just eat and drink smarter. It would also be a good idea to limit consumption of shellfish. For more information see Mercury poisoning causes, symptoms and treatment


Ref:
Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

Mercury Factsheet
Remove Heavy Metals Like Mercury From Your Body
Image: Fotosearch

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Smart Living Tips For Health, Wellness, Peace and Happiness

Twenty Five Simple Tips To Help You live a Healthy and Happy Life.
Practice them regularly

*Eat at home more often
*Eat 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks a day
*Take time to spend time with your family
*Use smaller plates to give the appearance of larger portions
*Eat Less by cutting your portions in half
*Get up 15 minutes earlier & Go to bed 15 minutes earlier
*Pack your lunch and snacks
*Think differently about meals: eating salads, wraps or whole grain bread with vegetables can be a breakfast too
*Drink more pure filtered water
*Quit buying $4 cups of coffee. Coffee is the most widely pesticide sprayed crop in the world.
*Get organic if you’re going to drink coffee and make it at home
*Learn a new skill or hobby like playing an instrument or self defense course *Remember at least 21 days of consistent commitment is what it takes to develop a new habit or change existing patterns then it is a “walk in the park”
*Get involved in a cause(s) Have a sense of purpose Give back Spend less Save more *Use your brain. Learn to speed read or practice crosswords or other intellectually complex game
*Read more books
*Take time to get a little sun exposure on your skin
*Use a Superfood supplement with probiotics
*Don’t drink beverages with high fructose corn syrup
*Eat raw foods more often and not always cooked foods
*Get a dehydrator, it can warm food without cooking and can make great healthy snacks that will last a long time in the cupboard or fridge
*Think healthy productive thoughts
*Make time to visualize your goals and plans. Visualize yourself in complete state of wellbeing, healthy and vibrant
*Cherish your friendships
*Take 3-5 deep breaths several times a day
*Live-Love-Laugh and Be Thankful

Sure there are plenty of other smart tips but this list should get you going in the right direction. Have a great week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chronic Childhood Diseases Linked To Chemical Exposure Are Increasing

Phillip Landrigan gave a sobering presentation to a group of over 150 top scientific and medical professionals on the state of our children's environmental health. The news was not great. He outlined the fact that over $55 billion dollars each year is spent on chronic childhood diseases resulting from chemical exposure and this situation has been surging in recent years.

Who is Phillip Landrigan and why should you care? Dr. Landrigan is the Harvard educated professor and Chairman of the Preventative Medicine Department as well as the Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr. Landrigan went on to point out that children are much more susceptible to the adverse effects of environmental contaminants and the environment is extremely significant as a determining factor in overall health.

Many of the common chronic childhood diseases such as Asthma, allergies, learning disabilities etc. are linked to environmental contaminants and there are over three thousand chemicals used in high volume for which there is no publicly available toxicity information. This is particularly significant given the fact that children would require much less exposure to a contaminant to have a similar response as an adult.

Read more about Children's diseases linked to chemicals

Reference:
Organic Consumers Association

Image:Fotosearch

Friday, October 2, 2009

Enjoy The Ride. Twenty Tips For A Positive Life

Life is definitely full of challenges and too often it zips by without fully appreciating the simple things that bring harmony or we forget to practice simple strategies for a better life. Here is a great video presentation of twenty tips for a positive life. It is food for thought that will instill a sense of balance and help you to Enjoy The Ride. (click the Enjoy The Ride link to be taken to the video)

Reference:
Inspired Lemonade

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ridiculous Bogus Exercise Device

It seems as though other countries are not immune to bogus exercise devices and marketing of shoddy products for health and fitness. Here is an ad that I am sure will make you laugh with disbelief. It reminded me of the old 1970's adds for the machines that would shake your gut and butt as a means to shake the fat off or the 1980's passive exercise machines that did the work for you. If any of these things really worked they would be everywhere and everyone would be using them. There may be another motive for purchasing this thing, you will see what I mean. Warning, be prepared to bust a gut laughing. Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Junk Food Marketing In Schools

Food Industry Suggests Change But Maintains Marketing To Children In Schools and A New Bill In Congress Will Evaluate School Based Marketing.

Given the fact that the incidence of childhood obesity and diabetes has grown to epidemic proportions with millions of young boys and girls being affected, you would think that schools would have stepped up their involvement in combating this situation by completely eliminating the marketing and sale of junk food and low nutrition quality foods to students. Sadly this is not the case.

It is a sad fact that companies have heavily marketed their junk food products in schools for years and it has only trended in a more saturating direction. The rising concern over childhood obesity and diabetes has caused some attention to this situation so in a preemptive move the food industry has issued a set of new marketing guidelines through a self regulating body called the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. This organization is funded by the food industry giants including Burger King, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hershey Company, McDonald's, Campbell Soup Company, and other major food companies.

Here is the conundrum. The initiative's statement,Fact Sheet On Elementary School Advertising Principles, suggests that the member companies will stop direct marketing to children in elementary schools. However, they can still sell their products in schools, they will still be advertising in schools by sponsoring PSA's, educational materials and curricula. They can also advertise on vending machines, display racks, lunch tray liners, label collection, and even menu boards. What is really changing here? Sounds like just shifting marketing strategies to me.

Here is a suggestion, eliminate the sale of junk food in schools, eliminate junk food vending machines and offer higher nutrient quality foods in vending machines, eliminate all advertising of food products in schools - No sponsored ads, no tray liners, no mascots or spokespersons like Ronald Mcdonald allowed, no junk food candy sales, no marketing of food as a reward such as is the case with Pizza Hut's marketing program that is allowed under these new guidelines. Serve real food with plenty of raw food choices.

The new legislation introduced this month, H.R. 3625: Food Marketing In Schools Assessment Act, will seek to evaluate the state of food marketing in schools as well as the nutritional quality of food served in schools to address the childhood obesity epidemic. Let's see if anything truly effective will result from this new bill.

Ref:
Center For Science In The Public Interest

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lower Your Cholesterol and Improve Your Ratio

What you eat in your diet can lower your cholesterol and improve your cholesterol ratio. The American Heart Association recommendations would be to limit meat consumption to only lean meat or poultry no more than 6 oz per day. Take the skin off chicken or other poultry. Opt for white meat over dark meat poultry cuts. Cut fat off steaks. The best way to reduce bad cholesterol would be to eliminate animal protein altogether. Use lower fat dairy products such as part skim white cheeses (no cheddar or colored cheeses), 1% milk, and Kefir (a cultured dairy beverage). Don't forget to exercise regularly (3-6 days per week) because this raises the levels of HDL (good cholesterol. Eat more mono-saturated fats (olive oil, sunflower oil, almonds, and walnuts) they also improve cholesterol ratios. Don’t smoke, among the other hazardous effects that it produces, it lowers good cholestero (HDL) levels as well.

Plants by nature have an essential role in reduction of cholesterol in the bloodstream. The compounds referred to as Sterols naturally occurring in plants have been found to lower the levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is beginning to participate in support for plant based substances as a means to improve health conditions prominent in much of our society. One such claim is that they now admit and support the benefits of plant sterols as a means to reduce the risk of heart disease supporting the AHA’s commendation of these substances. The specifics are as follows: FDA claims that foods and products containing at least 0.65 grams per serving of plant sterol esters, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily intake of at least 1.3 grams (or 0.8 grams sterols) as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Additional research shows that plant sterols combined with exercise and a reduced fat diet can effectively reduce cholesterol up to 15%. These healthy plant sterols are fat like substances that occur naturally in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains. They work essentially by lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL - Low Density Lipoprotein)without affecting good cholesterol (HDL - High Density Lipoprotein). Since these sterols are highly concentrated in the oils of these food sources many are removed from the daily diet due to food processing industry or people focusing on eliminating fat (especially beneficial fats) from the diet. What is to be understood here is another example of how beneficial fats are to our overall health as part of a balanced nutritional program. Coupled with mono-saturated, poly unsaturated omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids, the sterols are an added nutritional punch from plant based oils.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

TruVia and PureVia (Rebiana): The Beverage Industry's New Sugar Substitute

Are The Beverage Industry's New Sugar Substitutes Really Safe?

If you drink soda but are trying to be healthier in your choices by drinking some of the new products of the beverage industry which contain the first zero-calorie, synthetically derived version of the sweetening agent in Stevia, you should also consider some of the facts about these new sweeteners.

Both contain Rebiana which is derived from Reboside A the chemical in Stevia responsible for the sweetening effect of the plant.

It is the first sweetener used by the agribusiness and beverage industry that is not strictly a chemical. It is a derivative of the Stevia Plant. Stevia has been shown to have some positive benefits related to health. Whether or not this is translated in to newly derived sweeteners is yet to be determined.

The research conducted on Rebiana has been funded by Cargill (a chemical company conglomerate) which is the producer of this synthesized sweetener for the beverage industry.

Much of the research on Rebiana has been deemed poorly constructed scientific data.

Neither of the sweeteners TruVia and PurVia have actually been tested prior to being released by the FDA for use. The science used was that done on Rebiana itself and not the modified forms of Rebiana used by the beverage industry.

The Food and Chemical toxicology report was released at the same time as the Coca Cola PR campaign for TruVia & products containing it.

There appears to be, based on the Cargill funded research, no overtly toxic effects.

Although the research evaluates and suggests there isn't severe toxic effects, there is no research data outlining the side effects. The implications of side effects should not be dismissed lightly. Take for instance Olestra (sucrose polyester) which was a fat substitute developed by the chemical industry. Although it wasn't overtly toxic, it caused several side effects from mild to severe which could also result in nutritional deficiency resulting from malabsorption of nutrients by the body.

The moral of the story: Think Before You Drink. Perhaps these new sweeteners will prove to be the first synthesized sweeteners not to have serious health related complications and even prove to be somewhat beneficial for conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Time will tell as you will be the guinea pigs determining that outcome.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Top Ten List Of Healthy Nutrition Supplements

Here is a list of my personal top ten health and wellness nutrition supplements that I personally use and would recommend other people to use to improve their health, lose weight, increase energy, fight fatigue and pain, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce risk of cancer and arthritis and a whole heck of a lot more. If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will try to help you the best way I can.

1.) Perfect Food Berry by Garden of Life
2.) Greens Plus Berry by Orange Peel Enterprises
3.) Earth's Promise by Enzymatic Therapy
4.) Go Greens by ToGo Brands
5.) One "N" Only by Superior Daily Multivitamin by Pure Essence Labs
6.) Primal Defense Probiotics by Garden of Life
7.) Barefoot Coral Calcium Plus by Natures Benefit Inc.
8.) Flax Seed Meal by Bob's Red Mill & Flax Seed Oil Spectrum Essentials
9.) Raw Honey - different companies but always raw source.
10.) Agave nectar - Madhava
**bonus - Coconut Oil, Virgin Unrefined and Cold Processed by Nutiva

These particular products will put you on your path to becoming healthier than you have been in years. One suggestion would be to start out a new healthy regimen by doing a 10 day Cleanse by Garden of Life. It is quick, simple and easy to follow. This jump start will commit you to focus on your health and really jump start cleansing you system while creating a foundation to build superior health and well being. Now get rockin and keep me posted on how your doing.

By the way, if you are quite unhealthy when you start following a healthy regimen of these powerful nutrients, you may find that the first couple days you may not feel so much energy or vitality because your body is purging the toxins etc. Give it at least fourteen to twenty one days of consistent commitment and I guarantee that you will feel fantastic, probably better than you have in years.

Image: Fotosearch

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How To Eat Healthy and Organic For Less Money

Trying to eat healthy organic food is often a daunting task for people looking to keep their grocery budget from eating their entire paycheck. While it is true that eating organic food is definitely more expensive than opting for highly processed low grade food products, you still can make a few changes to incorporate wholesome organic food into your shopping list without breaking the banks. The trick is to choose wisely and consider modifying a few menu items.

The trend toward organics continues to grow with over 70% of consumers consuming organics at least some of the time. Although, people may think that organics is only purchased by those having a higher family income, in reality the total household consumption is split with many of these households having a total income below $50,000 per year. If you are spending an additional $200 per month on food that is organic, this can be a much larger financial impact on the average household income.

The point of this post was to provide an option for saving money on organics. Well, I came across a great article to help save you money by learning how to Eat Healthy and Organic On Only $7 A Day Follow that link and it will help guide you with strategies to put a little more money back in your bank account while allowing you to eat a little healthier. There are some simple yet smart changes you can make so go check it out.

Reference:
Eating Healthy and Organic on $7 a Day

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Change The World Wednesday's



Time for Change The World Wednesday's again. I have been a bit tied up this week so won't go into detail about this weeks challenge but here is a little hint. How can you get your kids involved in sustainable living & green living activities? One way would be to use Moolah Maker. Check it out it's really cool. I discovered it in an article by Derek Markham. If you click on the image in this post you will be taken to Reduce Footprints Blog to discover this weeks challenge and more details. Good luck.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Exercises To Add To Your Total Body Workout Routine

Today's post is for the Tight Body Tuesday's program where I often feature a workout or exercise routine to help add variety with effective plans to help you improve your fitness and re-shape your body.

Here are a couple new exercises to add to your workout routine. Let me know if you can do the first exercise (advanced plank) without putting your hand down or falling over. The second one (sumo wood chopper) is just a variation of a squat with a weighted medicine ball. Why not try alternating the two exercises doing 5-10 reps of the plank and 10-15 reps of the sumo wood chop for two or three rounds. For an added cardio burn, try doing jumping jacks or skipping rope for 30 seconds to 1 minute after each set. You could get this done in less than 15 minutes before work and start your day off right. Good luck.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Live Smart Receives An Award

Guess what? I received an award for my blog. The Superior Scribbler Award. Brian at Oldman's Cantankerous Point of View™ has passed along to me the Superior Scribbler Award. This marks the first award that Live Smart has received. I want to say thank you to Brian for being a loyal reader and acknowledging my pursuits.

In keeping with the spirit of this award you can click on the photo of the award in this post to review the guidelines. If your a recipient of this award from me then please visit this post for the information on the guidelines for the award. In the meantime, I am going to pass this award along to five of my blogging friends who I feel should receive the same compliment as Live Smart has.

I hereby pass this prestigious award to the following bloggers.

Small Footprints at Reduce Footprints

Marian at ElderWoman Blog

Elizabeth at GaiaTribe

Alex at Cooking For Assholes

Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog

If your a winner of this award please visit This Blings For You and add your name to the Mr. Linky List at the Scholastic-Scribe's blog. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who wins this prestigious Award!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Fat Tax Is Coming

I had been hearing about a potential "fat tax" to be levied on the beverage industry that would raise the price of a 20oz. bottle of soda by fifteen to twenty percent. The proposed tax would be one cent per ounce of beverage. This is just another tax in the list of increases that will continue to grow as the need to garner money for repairing current deficits as well as for funding programs in state and federal governments also continues to grow. For instance, several states have already increased their state sales tax rates.

This new "fat tax" is targeted toward accomplishing two major objectives. One, to raise money to fund new health care initiatives by raising an estimated $14.9 billion in just it's first year. This money will help to offset expenditures related to the obesity problem which is figured to account for almost $14 billion per year of the total $147 billion health care expense. Secondly, the goal is to stem the tide of the overweight and obesity epidemic in this country by steering people away from consuming these beverages. It is in some way a viewed as a prevention strategy for improving health and reducing health care costs associated with obesity which can also reduce the diabetes epidemic as well.

Some research has shown that eliminating sugary beverages has led to a decrease in weight and that just one bottle of soda can lead to a 60% increase in obesity risk in young teens. The recent push by doctors and researchers at leading institutions like Harvard and Yale University as well as Boston Children's Hospital are advocating such a tax as a step in the right direction to reduce the risk and occurrence of obesity as well as providing needed funding to support health care initiates through a prevention strategy that will save money. Sounds good to me since I am not a fan of sugary beverages and especially not one of high fructose corn syrup which is increasingly implicated as a major contributor to the obesity problem. We will have to see what happens but I imagine it will pass in some form just like the sin tax on cigarettes.

Reference:
Soda Tax Wins Health Experts Support

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Live Longer By Following This One Simple Guideline

The one simple guideline that could help you live thirty percent longer than expected is calorie restriction. Research on mice has shown that eating a healthy diet but reducing the total daily caloric intake by 30% increased their lifespans by 30-40%. So if your daily intake is based on the average of 2500 calories per day that means cutting out 750 calories per day. It is a bold move and for most people extremely challenging. Being able to stick to that regimen would be an effort no doubt. Additionally, it is imperative that your food choices contain high quality food sources to obtain enough essential nutrients (protein, fiber, vitamins, mineral) to keep your body healthy.

If you want to further increase your longevity chances, then you should additionally consider eating foods that comprise the Mediteranean Diet which has been shown to reduce the potential for chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease. For this calorie restricted diet to have a fully beneficial effect, you must also consume a diet that will decrease your risk of getting cancer so you should consider maintaining an optimum pH balance in your body by consuming Superfood supplements along with plenty of fresh cruciferous vegetables, fruits, and green leafy vegetables.

I like to eat so for me, most likely it will be eating healthier and keeping the calories maybe 10-15% less depending upon the day. What can I say. I like my food. Would you cut your calories that much for the rest of your life in order to live a little longer and potentially disease free?

Interesting article: Slowing The Aging Process

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Potential Health Risks Associated With Vaccines

There is obvious controversy surrounding vaccinations for all types of diseases and often the concerns are valid due to a heightened risk of serious or deadly complications. Many of these side effects are a result of ingredients (adjuvants) or preservatives contained in the vaccine. Given the fact that we are now entering the flu season, I thought it may be useful to provide some additional information regarding vaccinations.

I had featured Barbara Loe Fischer in a previous post discussing information about vaccines from the National Vaccine Information Center, a non-profit advocacy group, which seeks to prevent injury and death resulting from vaccines. Below is a video presentation by Mrs. Fischer discussing very important information regarding the Gardisil Vaccine and Swine Flu Vaccine. It is worth a few minutes of your time. May you find it enlightening and helpful.

Another reason this is significant information now is because Congress is back in session and the bill, HR2618 Vaccine Safety and Public Confidence Act of 2009 is sure to be back on line. This offers you, the American citizen, an opportunity to get involved in support or opposition of this bill should you feel so inclined.



Reference:

National Vaccine Information Center
HR2618
Gardisil and Swine Flu Vaccines May Be Risky
Flu Preparedness
Swine Flu Update

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sugar's Damaging Health Effects On Your Immune System


We are heading into the cold and flu season here in the U.S. so it is wise to consider your dietary habits as they relate to your immune system health. The bottom line, excess sugar suppresses immunity. Studies show that downing 25 grams of sugar, roughly the amount in two cans of soda or piece of sugary pastry, is enough to knock your immune system down for hours. The immune suppression was most noticeable two hours post-ingestion, but the effect was still evident five hours after ingestion.

If you really load up on sugar, say about 100 grams (20 teaspoons, it can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by up to 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.

Simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty-percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. In contrast, ingesting complex carbohydrates(starch) does not hinder the immune response or impede the white blood cells ability to conquer bacteria. Improve the health and fitness of your immune system by eating less simple sugar and more complex carbohydrates.

The way to supercharge your immune system and reduce the potential for sickness is to eat plenty of raw fresh vegetables, greens, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Avoid sweetened, caffienated beverages, sugar laden pastries and snack bars, soda, sugary cereals, and read your labels. If your a woman, keep you sugar intake to no more than 25 grams(100 calories) per day total and men no more than 37 grams(150 calories) total from all food sources.

Stress also suppresses immunity, so be sure to manage your stress levels through exercise which also boost your immune system and deep breathing exercises that will help you stay relaxed.

Reference:
Dr. Sears
Seventy Six Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vegetarian Diet Health Risk and MSG Excitotoxins

Vegetarians beware! There are a few nutritional and health issues to consider if your on a vegetarian diet but the one I want to focus on today is that many foods labeled as "vegetarian" contain substances known as Excitotoxins. Excitotoxins have hyper-stimulating and destructive effects on brain tissue that can lead to a variety of health problems especially in more sensitive individuals. A primary Excitotoxin is MSG. Excitotoxins have been shown to cause destructive lesions in the hypothalamus and a increase in endocrine organ disorders such as infertility, menstrual difficulties, polycystic ovaries, and other reproductive problems. They are also implicated in early even subtle damage to a developing brain that can cause severe changes in personality decades later in life. As well as potentially cause autism, learning disorders, hyperactivity and schizophrenia.

Some people are more naturally sensitive due to lack of key enzymes in their body or due to deficiency in certain nutrients such as calcium, vitamin C and vitamin E in their diets. Many processed prepared vegetarian foods contain hydrolyzed vegetable protein which is a disguised form of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). Many contain hydrolyzed soy protein which according to Dr. Russell Blaylock creates a greater concentration of glutamate excitotoxins than other forms of hydrolyzed protein, so if you’re suffering from headaches, anxiety, fatigue, lethargy, forgetfulness or other problems then you better get off these products immediately. It would be a good idea to avoid these products at all costs anyway. Once again eating less processed food is better for you. One popular item among vegetarians is Bragg’s Amino’s and according to Dr. Blaylock, it is suspect as well. The full details are not able to be garnered from this product but it may contain high levels of excitotoxins so use them at your own discretion.

Here are some other key buzzwords to look out for in packaged processed foods: any hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed soy protein, broth, caseinate, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, textured protein. These are all forms of disguised MSG

The vegetarian diet is still a much healthier diet overall compared to the high protein, high saturated fat diets of the typical American. You must however choose your food products wisely to avoid potential health related issues.

Reference:
Truth In Labeling. Who Are The Glutes
Natural News
Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills By Dr. Russell Blaylock pg 68 & 223
Video: Dr. Russel Blaylock Presentation

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Fast Food Salad Misconception With Calorie Breakdown

When trying to cut calories or choose a healthier option, people will often tend to get the salad selection at fast food restaurants. There are definite advantages of having a salad. The fact that your eating low calorie nutrient dense raw vegetables that contain healthy enzymes and vitamins makes these a wise choice. However, too often they come with extra toppings and artery clogging dressings that are also loaded with high fructose corn syrup which also a primary ingredient linked to the risk of obesity and heart disease. The point here is be smart about your choices. If you have a protein source like chicken on it, get it grilled not fried. Don't put the extra bacon bits, Asian noodles etc. on top. Instead of the package of ranch or blue cheese dressing or other ones, choose the oil and vinegar option and use the oil sparingly. Try using just the vinegar or even just some lemon juice. You will save hundreds of calories, eliminate several grams of saturated fat and sugar and you will have made a better choice for your weight and health. Here is an interesting video breakdown of a typical fast food salad. So be smart the next time your making choices to improve your health and fitness. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How Music Affects and Improves Your Health

I personally love my music and always have and can attest to the fact that it has had a positive affect on my health, focus, drive and clarity. Numerous studies have shown that music can have profound physical, psychological and even intellectual effects on your health. Rock and roll is what I grew up on but expanded my tastes as I got older. Now just about all genres and styles appeal to me depending upon how I feel or what I am doing at the time.

Music has been shown to affect animals. One study conducted with mice was quite telling. Mice were subjected to heavy metal music or classical music to see if there would be an affect on their speed of learning. Interestingly, the mice subjected to heavy metal performed worse than the classical group and their intellectual problem solving skills diminished. The first experiment actually had to be cut short because the mice subjected to the heavy metal music ended up killing each other.

Music has even been shown to affect plants. A Colorado college researcher, Dorothy Retallack, conducted experiments working with plants exposed to various genres of music in a controlled environment. The net result was that the plants exposed to some classical or jazz music grew toward the source of the sound, grew fuller and more vibrant. The plants exposed to hard rock grew more stunted, had less leaves and grew away from the music source and most of these plants died in just over two weeks.

Positive music alternatives to incorporate into your life should include cutting edge music technology that enhances the brain wave patterns of different states of consciousness. This can greatly enhance your ability to focus, learn, relax, create and restore. One such system is Hemi-Sync®. It is an audio-guidance process that works through the generation of complex, multilayered audio signals, which act together to create a resonance that is reflected in unique brain wave forms characteristic of specific states of consciousness. The result is a focused, whole-brain state known as hemispheric synchronization, or Hemi-Sync® where the left and right hemispheres are working together in a state of coherence. Hemi-Sync® produces a focused, coherent mind, which is an optimal condition for improving human performance. For more detailed analysis, please read How Hemi-Sync® Works

The point here is that to improve your health, clarity and intellect, it is a good idea to incorporate an appreciation for music and music diversity into your life. Develop a taste for different styles of music if all you listen to is hard head banging rock. One way to do this would be to try finding string versions of some of your favorites. My buddy found some great string versions of some of the most popular rock bands today. Search around, you would be surprised. Utilize some of the specially developed brainwave synchronizing music to achieve the desired effects your pursuing. Have a great week.

Reference:

Psychology of Music
Music Plant Experiments
Harmonic Sounds
Hemi-Sync® Research Papers
Cell Phone Safety

Image: FotoSearch

Friday, September 11, 2009

Microbial Fuel Cell Technology Generates Electricity From Dirt

Lebônê Solutions, Inc. is a social enterprise organization working in off-grid energy delivery and lighting technology using cutting edge clean energy technology. This innovative group was founded in 2007 by Aviva Presser Aiden & Hugo Van Vuuren to help meet the need for off-grid energy and lighting in the developing world.

Using microbial fuel cells, Lebônê’s technology generates electricity from soil microbes to power LED lights, cell phones, radios and other devices. For the initial pilot project in Tanzania, Lebônê used Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology to provide direct current power for standard high efficiency LEDs and equipment like cell phone chargers. MFCs offer a exciting new option for sustainable, cheap, environmentally friendly, and locally targeted power solutions.

By extracting energy and light from dirt, Lebônê has created a scalable clean energy tool that could be used worldwide. Currently, it is working toward providing a tool that improves results for rural health workers, students, small businesses, farmers and families in developing countries. This is just one more promising technological innovation to help resolve energy and environmental issues combined. Good luck and godspeed.

Read more about Lebônê Solutions, Inc
Learn about Microbial Fuel Cell Technology: Microbial Fuel Cells

Reference:PopTech on a Tweet from Echoing Green

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Apple Harvest Is Healthy and Fun

It's that time of year for the fall apple harvest season a time of good healthy fun. So here is a little story about the apple. I had discovered eight different varieties scattered and hidden while hiking some property a few years back and I often wondered just how many different apples there were compared to what we saw in the store.

The common apple, Malus Doestica originally comes from the region of the world we know as Kazakhstan, a country located in Central Asia. The apple is a descendant from a wild fruit that was one of the first fruits to ever be domesticated by man for consumption. Estimates today put the number of different named varieties at nearly fifteen thousand. A staggering number when you consider that the number of varieties you typically find in local supermarkets can be counted on one hand; Red Delicious, Fuji, Royal Gala, Braeburn, and Granny Smith. Ok, so maybe you can find a few more like the Rome or McIntosh but this is just a small sample of the vast choices you could have. The reasons for this are quite simple really. Economics. Those varieties ship well, last longer, have been bred for uniformity and worst of all are picked very young before fully achieving maturity then are ripened with a gas ripening agent before shipping.

This is fall harvest season and many states will celebrate with Apple Festivals and more. Do yourself a favor and search out a local farmers market, road side stand or even a dedicated heirloom grower in your region and discover something new. An heirloom variety apple picked fresh, grown without chemicals and not gassed with a ripening agent. This could be a fun inexpensive and healthy thing to do on those shorter fall weekend days when you notice the day slipping by a little faster but still want something fun to do. Not to mention buying locally keeps your money in the local economy helping to support your community.

If your really gung ho about apples then consider planting a tree for yourself or community. While your at it really consider an heirloom variety to help preserve the heritage and diversity of these wonderfully healthy plants. The Big Horse Creek Farm provides hundreds of varieties of sapling that you can have delivered to your door ready to plant. What a cool thing to do and healthy too because apples are loaded with vitamins, minerals & antioxidants called Polyphenols that are beneficial in preventing heart disease, breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Need help finding a market: Find A Local Farm or Farm Market. All you have to do is click on the farm market button, enter the product you want and city your in then press search. Whalla! Your in business. If that doesn't help, just start doing a Google search for your area and I am sure you will discover something useful.

Eat healthier. Consider joining a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Project CSA

Reference: Kent Priestly
A Growing Legacy - Kent Priestly
Apple Nutrition Facts
Science Daily
Image: Fotosearch

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Change The World Wednesday

It is time for our weekly Change The World Wednesday's Challenge. Change The World Wednesday's was started by my friend Small Footprints. It is a weekly challenge focusing on how we can collectively work on a single issue each week to increase awareness and engage positive action to reduce our impact on the world, i.e.- be a little more GREEN. Last week's challenge was to eliminate polystyrene (styrofoam) from your consumption habits. Check it out here: Eliminate The Use Of Styrofoam For One Week

Before we issue this week's challenge I would like to say thank you to this weeks Honor Society bloggers who choose to help spread the word of our challenge. You can read what each of them did along with other suggestions they may have to live more sustainably by clicking on their name below.
Connie Mishali
Kate
Yanic
Argentum Vulgaris
Sober White Women
EcoGrrl
Mike
Zephyr Girl

I am Agel
RecycleBill
Elizabeth Barrette
Rewinn
Harri Pao
Millenniumhealth
TC


To see what this week's challenge is, click on the Change The World image above in this post.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nadi Shodhana. Breathing Technique To Relax and Calm Yourself

There is a simple breathing exercise that you can use that will not only help to relax and calm your body but will improve your health and mental fitness as well. It is called Nadi Shodhana which in English simply means "clearing the channels". This exercise helps particularly well when you are having a lot of anxious thoughts or when your trying to quiet your mind of to much mental chatter.

Stress, tension and anxiety can cause deterioration in your health and make you more susceptible to illness or disease. Most people experience times of undo stress or anxiety whether it be about work, family or personal matters. Given the state of economic conditions over the past year and more people facing increasing challenges, having a simple effective tool to help is better than downing a bunch of pills or having to many cocktails.

Here is the trick. Use your right hand to alternately close your right then left nostril. Hold your right hand so that the fingers a separated. Take a slow moderately deep breath in through your nose, and then close off your right nostril with your right thumb. Exhale slowly through you left nostril, then inhale slowly through your left nostril, then close off your left nostril with your third and forth fingers of your right hand. Exhale through your right nostril then inhale through your right nostril, and then again close your right nasal passage with your thumb, exhaling through your left. Continue this pattern for about five to ten minutes, alternating the nostril after each inhalation. This process will cause you to begin feeling more calm and relaxed even after just a minute or two.

This breathing technique in Ayurveda practice is called Pranayama which means the "expansion of life" often loosely translated to "prana" or "breath control". Pranayama is effective to relax you without tranquilizers or alcohol as well as to energize you without caffeine. It is a natural technique to balance your internal energy while facilitating the mind/body connection. Use Nadi Shodhana as well as other breathing techniques throughout your day to balance your mind and body.

Here are some additional breathing techniques for energizing and relaxing your body:
Breathing Exercises

Reference: Grow Younger Live Longer: 10 Steps To Reverse Aging